Buzzin' in the Hive

Graden Parent and Family Newsletter, February 2023

Happy February, Hornets!

Third quarter is off to an amazing start! Sometimes the cold weather causes us to be blah and tired, but NOT at Graden!!! Our hallways are filled with a wonderful buzz of learning and excitement.

Our school days are filled with new learning and challenging curriculum and it is important that our Hornets are at school each and every day. We miss our Hornets when they are gone. If you have a student that is sick, please contact the front office and your classroom teacher. If not, please make prompt arrival and attendance a priority. We have a busy and important 2nd semester ahead of us.

It is already approaching the time of year for enrollment. Watch for information from the district or from Graden regarding enrollment and registration dates.

Upcoming Dates:

Wednesday, February 1st - Early Release - 2:00 pm

Wednesday, February 1st - Papa John's Night

Tuesday, February 7th - PTA Meeting - 6:00 pm in the Library

Wednesday, February 8th -Friday, February 10th - Kindness Cake Sales - 8:50 am

Thursday, February 9th - Mathletics Competition - 4:45 pm in the Gym

Tuesday, February 14th - Friendship Parties - 2:50 pm

Wednesday, February 15th - Spring Picture Day

Monday, February 20th - No School

Thursday, February 23rd - 1st Grade Musical

Thursday, February 23rd - Family Reading Night - 6:30 pm - Park Hill High School

Thanks for always supporting Graden!

-Dr. Easley

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Early release days will be on Wednesdays for the 2022-23 school year. Dismissal on early release days begins at 2:00 pm.

Every early release day will be Interest Group Day at Graden. All students will engage in a cultural arts assembly and students will join interest groups to participate in an activity of high interest to them. I am thrilled to share that ALL assemblies and interest groups will be in-person this year. Please have your student wear their "GRIT" school shirt.

Below you will find the early release schedule and the assembly themes:

2022-23 Early Release Days:

Wednesday, February 1st - Zoo Mobile

Wednesday, March 1st

Wednesday, April 5th

Wednesday, May 3rd

2nd Semester Lunch Schedule for Early Release Days:

Kindergarten: 12:20 pm-12:40 pm

First Grade: 12:40 pm -1:00 pm

Second Grade: 1:00 pm - 1:20 pm

Third Grade: 11:20 am - 11:40 am

Fourth Grade: 11:40 am - 12:00 pm

Fifth Grade: 12:00 pm - 12:20 pm

Please communicate with your classroom teacher and the office if you have alternate transportation on early release days.

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At Graden, our core values are continuous growth, equity & inclusion, collaboration, leadership, authentic relationships, and learning that is student driven. We are always looking for opportunities to implement these into our students’ day. One way we do that is through Interest Groups.

On Early Release Days, students will participate in a cultural arts assembly and will also have the opportunity to join a group of K-2 or 3-5 students (depending on their age range) in a self-selected activity. Students will be surveyed at the beginning of the year, and will be placed in a group based on their top 3 choices. A staff member will lead these groups, giving students an opportunity to meet new teachers as well as other students! Some of the activities include, but are not limited to: Art, Breakout Room, Bugs, Crafts, Cooking, Fitness/Yoga/Aerobics, Games, Legos, Martial Arts, Music, Sign Language, STEM, Team Sports, and Technology. These days are always exciting for our Hornets.

Interest Group Schedule:

Wednesday, February 1st

Wednesday, March 1st

Wednesday, April 5th


Yearbooks are now for sale through the Inter-State website. If you would like to purchase a yearbook, please use the link below. Yearbook sales end on January 31st.


Members of the Park Hill School District's Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Council (DEIB) will facilitate this community update and conversation, in partnership with Sophic Solutions. Join us!

Park Hill School District parents/guardians, staff, and community members are welcome to join us for these conversations. In these upcoming online forums, we will start with large group discussion, overviewing all the work our DEIB Council has accomplished since our community forums in January of 2022. We'll also share how this aligns with the newly developed 2023-2028 Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP). After our large group presentation, we will move into small groups where participants will get the chance to engage in dialogue about the work that is being done and give input on continued learning opportunities.

We look forward to sharing how the community’s input has informed our progress so far. We also look forward to our next steps in alignment with our DEIB drivers and narratives. We have good work in our action plan ahead - thank you for your connection to this work!

We are hosting two community forums. If you would like to join one of the forums, please choose only one of the forum dates below to join.

Wednesday, February 1, 2023 - 6:00 pm

Tuesday, February 7th, 2023 - 6:00 pm


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Graden's Friendship Parties will be on Tuesday, February 14th, at 2:50 pm - 3:35 pm.

We are excited to welcome 2 adult visitors per student and would like to make the check-in process as smooth as possible.

All visitors MUST be checked in using our Raptor visitor system with photo ID prior to entering the building.

If you plan to attend the friendship parties, please complete the form below to notify Graden that you will attend. If you are already in our system, you will have a visitor sticker upon your arrival on Tuesday, February 14th.

*** If you are NOT in our Raptor system, you will be notified by the Graden office to come to Graden and pre-register with your photo ID prior to the 14th. If you are not able to pre-register, you will need to complete this process at the front office before joining class parties. Pre-registering is highly encouraged.

* If you have multiple students, please fill this out for your oldest student ONLY.

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Invitations for individual birthday parties may be distributed at school IF they are passed out to the whole class. We will not hand out invitations to individual students as this does not align with our building expectations.

We have a Graden Buzz Book with student contact information that you can receive if you sign up for PTA. Sign up for PTA online today. Once you sign up, a Buzz Book will be provided to you.


Happy February! We had a blast this month staging conflicts and resolving them in healthy ways, using our stuffed animal friends to help us practice I-Messages, and creating FlipGrids for our classmates to view and evaluate! This month our focus schoolwide will be on confidence and self-esteem. Be sure to check out the February newsletter below for specifics! Visit the Graden Counseling Website for previous counseling newsletters, community resources, and parent referral forms, as well as several other fun resources to cultivate social and emotional development. As always, I am available to chat via email, phone, or in person! You can reach me by email at or via phone at 816-359-5647. Stay warm, safe, and healthy! ❤

*** If you are someone who needs assistance with Winter clothing, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or Mrs. Dawson for support! We have received some generous donations of coats and winter accessories and would love to provide our Hornets with some gear to keep them bundled up and warm! ***

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The Park Hill clothing center recently added evening dates to the volunteer schedule in an attempt to get more volunteers (hanging clothes, putting away shoes, etc). Anyone is welcome to come (kids, teams, groups, clubs, etc). The link is here:

If you have any team/group special request dates, contact Karen at 603-557-0701 or

We also really need people to volunteer during the shopping times (1st and 3rd Tuesdays of every month). During these hours we cannot have student helpers due to confidentiality. Those hours are listed here:

Also, you don't need to commit to an entire timeslot. Just work what you can. Students in the Park Hill School district can also take clothes home. If you have anything to donate, we accept clothing sizes 4T-Adult.

Our shopping hours are listed here

The address is 8009 N Atkins. It is a house with a blue bin in front next to the Gerner Family Early Education Center’s playground. Type in “Gerner” to GPS to ensure it takes you to the correct address.

Thank you for helping us to help the kids!

The Park Hill Clothing Center Team

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February is for FRIENDSHIP! PTA is excited to help facilitate our Graden Class Friendship Parties and 5th Grade Dance Party! Thanks to all of the parents that are helping volunteer and donate to make these parties a success. We are also working really hard to get ready for one of our favorite times of the year- the GRADEN Read-A-Thon! What a great way to support our students and our school as we encourage our kids to READ!

Here are some of our immediate needs:

Teacher Treats- Donate snacks for our "Pop-Up" snack cart HERE!

Important Dates:

· Feb 1st- Papa John's Fundraiser Night! Enjoy Pizza while a portion of the proceeds go back to support Graden!

· Feb 7th – PTA Meeting at 6 p.m. in the Graden library, childcare provided

· Feb 14th- Friendship Parties and 5th Grade Dance Party!

· Feb 20th- NO SCHOOL

· Feb 22nd- "Pop-Up" Treat Bar for Teachers/Staff

· Feb 27th- Read-A-Thon Begins!

Connect with us on Facebook to see our upcoming events and learn how you can get involved with PTA.

Graden PTA Board Members:

Hayley Cooper, President

Emily Miller, Vice President

Lindsay Ramon, Secretary

Maggie Wright, Treasurer

Jessica Freels, Parliamentarian


Tuesday, February 7th, 2023

Tuesday, March 7th, 2023

Tuesday, April 4th, 2023

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023

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The Park Hill Star recognition program was started in 2015 to celebrate support staff and teachers whose work is especially noteworthy.

The following is an overview of the Park Hill Star Program:

Our employees are the reason we are so successful here in the Park Hill School District, and we would like to recognize them for all they do for our students. That is why we present the Park Hill Star award once a month to a pre-K or elementary teacher, a secondary teacher and a support employee.


School Office (816) 359-4340

School Fax (816) 359-4349

Attendance Line (816) 359-4341

First Student Bus Company (816) 359-4560

Adventure Club (816) 359-5015

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